It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were in the bottom half of the league in bullpen ERA this past season, are seeking upgrades in that area in any way, shape, or form.
The team has “big time” interest in Orioles reliever Darren O’Day, who was one of the league’s best setup men, but apparently their aspirations go farther than that.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the team has been linked to flame-throwing Reds’ closer, Aroldis Chapman:
The Dodgers thus far have been connected mostly to set-up man extraordinaire Darren O’Day among the bullpen arms, but they’ve cast a wide net in their search for relief help, and are also considering closers, even the game’s most dynamic pen arm Aroldis Chapman.
Several other teams have been linked often to Chapman, and it isn’t known how seriously the Dodgers are involved with Chapman. Their interest is a mild surprise since the Dodgers already possess one of the game’s better closers in Kenley Jansen.
Last season, Chapman posted a 1.63 ERA, converted 33 of 36 of his save opportunities, and averaged a ridiculous 15.7 strikeouts per nine innings.
The hard-throwing lefty has one year left on his current contract and will be a free agent in 2016. For that reason, it makes sense for the Reds to trade him now and get something for him rather than let him walk in free agency. Heyman says the team may trade him before the Winter Meetings, which are in two weeks.
Should the Dodgers unload some of their farm system for a guy like Chapman and create a dominant 1-2 duo with he and Kenley Jansen, or should they try to sign a high-end setup man like Darren O’Day?
Both options are intriguing, and if one thing is for sure, it’s that the team is making a conscious effort to improve. That’s all you can hope for.